BlackBerry KEY2 vs. BlackBerry KEYone: Should you upgrade?

The BlackBerry KEY2 did not must overdeliver — it simply needed to ship. Instead, BlackBerry Mobile listened to the court cases leveled in opposition to the first-generation KEYone and controlled to handle just about each considered one of them. There’s one thing to be stated about that.

At the similar time, the 2 telephones are remarkably equivalent of their design and aim, and that slender focal point would possibly — if truth be told, it no doubt will — restrict its doable target audience.

The KEY2’s enhancements are delicate however important, and are uniformly carried out — there is no such thing as a unmarried space of the telephone that hasn’t been affected one way or the other. At the similar time, it is very a lot the bodily and non secular successor to the KEYone, and can most probably draw in a similarly-sized target audience; when BlackBerry Mobile says it intends to develop the keyboard telephone marketplace with the KEY2, it is via evolution, no longer revolution.

KEY2 vs. KEYone What’s the similar?

The KEY2 maintains the unique’s four.Five-inch 1680×1020 pixel IPS show — and I am not speaking the similar specifications, I am speaking about the similar precise show — which limits the telephone to letterboxing whilst observing wide-angle content material in panorama.

But that is a part of the price proposition of a telephone like this: it does issues otherwise. BlackBerry Mobile says that nobody, together with its maximum hardcore fan base, complained in regards to the display screen, and extending it to 16:nine, or seeking to scale back bezel dimension, would were problematic for each aesthetics and usefulness.

Some of the issues that stayed the similar have been just right. The capacitive buttons were not.

What additionally hasn’t modified over closing yr is the implementation of capacitive buttons. Again, BlackBerry doubled down on a suite of conventions and glued to them, announcing that digital keys would have compelled them to reconsider the show or chassis dimension, and it sought after the telephone to be flippantly weighted.

The use of capacitive keys is not basically problematic since Google is not going to put in force a navigation exchange to gestures when upgrading to Android P, however it does rather restrict the KEY2’s upgradeability.

Both the KEYone and KEY2 proportion a textured again, making the telephone simple to grip, and each recreation headphone jacks, unmarried downward-facing audio system, and USB-C rapid charging.

Category KEY2 KEYone
Operating System Android eight.1 Oreo Android 7.1 Nougat
Display four.Five-inch, 1620×1080
IPS LCD
434 ppi
four.Five-inch, 1620×1080
IPS LCD
434 ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
4x Kryo 2.2GHz, 4x Kryo 1.8GHz
Adreno 512 GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Octa-core 2GHz
Adreno 506 GPU
RAM 6GB 3GB
Storage 64GB / 128GB 32GB
Expandable microSD as much as 2TB microSD as much as 2TB
Rear Camera 1 12MP (1.three micron) ƒ/1.eight
laser+segment autofocus
dual-tone LED flash
12MP (1.55 micron) ƒ/2
segment autofocus
dual-tone LED flash
Rear Camera 2 12MP (1 micron) ƒ/2.6
2x optical zoom
portrait mode
n/a
Video 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps
HDR
4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps
HDR
Front Camera 8MP
Selfie flash
1080p/30 video
8MP
Selfie flash
1080p/30 video
Battery 3500 mAh
Non-removable
3505 mAh
Non-removable
Charging Quick Charge three.zero
USB-C
Quick Charge three.zero
USB-C
Water resistance No No
Headphone jack Yes Yes
Security Front-facing fingerprint sensor (in keyboard)
DTEK safety suite
FIPS 140-2 Full Disk Encryption
Android For Work, Google Play for Work
Front-facing fingerprint sensor (in keyboard)
DTEK safety suite
FIPS 140-2 Full Disk Encryption
Android For Work, Google Play for Work
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, 5GHz, Bluetooth Five + LE, NFC
GPS, GLONASS
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, 5GHz, Bluetooth four.2 LE, NFC
GPS, GLONASS
Network (NA GSM) LTE Band half of/three/four/Five/7/eight/12/13/14/17/20/28/29/30/66
TD-LTE Band 38/39/40/41
LTE Band half of/three/four/Five/7/eight/12/13/17/19/20/28/29/30
TD-LTE Band 38/39/40/41
Dimensions 151.four x 71.eight x eight.Five mm 149.1 x 72.39 x nine.four mm
Weight 168 180g

Both telephones have more or less the similar sized battery, too — three,500mAh at the KEY2 and three,505mAh at the KEYone — which must translate into greater than a complete day on each telephones. We’ve already recounted the epic longevity of the unique KEYone, with its battery-sipping Snapdragon 625 platform, and there is not any doubt the sequel will pull in equivalent, if no longer higher, effects.

BlackBerry KEY2 specifications

KEY2 vs. KEYone What’s other?

Despite sharing a lot of the similar core design, the BlackBerry KEY2 adjustments up an important quantity, each internally and externally, from the dimensions of the keys at the eponymous keyboard to the heftier parts that enhance the specs sheet.

For starters, the Snapdragon 660 that powers the telephone is greater than double the velocity, each in single- and multi-core exams, of the KEYone’s Snapdragon 625. That telephone used to be infamous for unwelcome slowdowns and stutters, and in spite of a reasonably just right recognition with different telephones, the Snapdragon 625 is growing older itself out nowadays.

The processor within the KEY2 is greater than two times as rapid because the KEYone, and it will be a large deal for efficiency.

Conversely, the S660 is more recent, sooner, and better-equipped to deal with the really extensive multitasking allotment that KEY2 homeowners are more likely to ask of the telephone, and although we have not used it broadly, will probably be some distance much less vulnerable to inconsistent efficiency.

Add to that the 6GB of RAM that comes same old within the KEY2 — double that of maximum KEYone fashions — and the more recent telephone has the possible to rival many flagships for total peppiness. (It additionally does rather justify the $100 worth bump over the unique, however we’re going to get to that.)

The sooner processor and RAM additionally beef up the brand new digicam gadget, and this is the place I am slightly skeptical (although I will defer judgment till I am getting a assessment unit within the labs). To accommodate a 2nd digicam — a 12MP sensor with an ƒ2.6 lens at two times the focal period of the primary one — BlackBerry Mobile needed to exchange out the principle sensor for a smaller one than used to be within the KEYone.

That explicit digicam, although no longer best-in-class in anyway, boasted the similar module as the 1st Google Pixel, which had the most efficient digicam of 2016. That sensor, an IMX368, boasts 1.55-micron pixels, which provides higher low-light images, has been changed by way of considered one of similar answer and unknown provenance, with smaller 1.28-micron pixels. It’s no longer a large distinction, however I will be scrutinizing the KEY2’s images, particularly in difficult lights stipulations, to evaluate any regression.

Of route, having a 2nd sensor method the KEY2 can carry out methods the KEYone could not dream of, like portrait mode and, extra helpful, telephotography. The rear digicam additionally boasts the facility to seize 1080p video pictures at 60fps, a capability earned by way of the extra tough Snapdragon 660 processor.

There’s one thing to be stated for delicate enhancements, like the dimensions of the keyboard buttons.

The KEY2’s design is significantly extra modern-looking than the KEYone’s, with angular brushed aluminum facets, a entrance boasting extra built-in sensors, and no more irritating button placement, with the facility button now situated at the telephone’s appropriate aspect nestled between the quantity rocker and Convenience Key.

Looking on the two side-by-side unearths a variety of small tweaks, too: the telephone is ever-so-slightly taller and narrower, making it more uncomplicated to paw one-handed, and it is round eight% lighter, too.

The keyboard keys, now matte as an alternative of shiny, are 20% taller than the ones in closing yr’s telephone. The keys’ dimension, and stepped forward clickiness, are some of the maximum necessary upgrades to the KEY2, and I will be able to’t wait to start out the use of them. The more recent telephone additionally sports activities a Speed Key, which operates as a de facto shortcut key to the rest the telephone can do. It’s situated the place the right-side Shift button is at the KEYone, and I will be able to’t say I will pass over the outdated design a lot.

KEY2 vs. KEYone Should you improve?

The KEY2 will value $649 USD when it is launched in past due June, which is $100 greater than the KEYone demanded when it went on sale in mid-2017. Given the gradual creep of telephone prices generally, some worth bump used to be anticipated, however $100 turns out lovely sizeable. At the similar time, the interior specifications align a lot more with flagships we are seeing from Samsung, Huawei, LG, and others, and BlackBerry Mobile understands its demographic neatly sufficient to grasp that the ones keen to spend $550 on a KEYone will simply spend $650 on its successor.

Whether that successor is value upgrading to, although, isn’t my choice to make. While we would possibly not know for some time but whether or not then KEY2 will probably be offered immediately at U.S. carriers, we do know that there will probably be a model that helps each AT&T and T-Mobile; it does not look like BlackBerry will probably be freeing a CDMA-compatible fashion these days. (There is a Verizon/Sprint-compatible KEYone, if you’re inquisitive about selecting one up at a cut price.)

If you love BlackBerry telephones and have been preserving off purchasing a KEYone, the KEY2 will sate your starvation for a keyboard telephone working Android. If you have a KEYone, you must most certainly wait till the corporate rolls out Android Oreo prior to deciding whether or not the KEY2 is a worthy improve, since there will probably be some inevitable device enhancements coming to the older fashion. If you’re within the greater camp that is loudly scoffed at BlackBerry’s go back — are you hate-reading this? — the KEY2 would possibly not persuade you to modify your thoughts, however selecting one up will be offering a a lot better first influence both approach.

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BlackBerry KEY2 vs. BlackBerry KEYone: Should you improve?


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